Today we proudly present our two new social media correspondents Thies Thiesen and Sandra Dirks. In our stormy interview you can get to know them a little better before you meet them here more often.

Thies and the whole wide visu world?

I’m Thies Thiessen. I read and write, watch and draw. My whole life I’ve done that, as far as I can remember. For over 35 years, I have filled private sketchbooks, as other people do diaries.
Professionally, I develop advertising concepts, mostly in words, often accompanied with my rough sketches.

For me it’s exciting to make complex and big ideas pictorial and quickly comprehensible. And I’m interested in how that actually works.

Sandra Dirks is … the woman with the flipcharts, that’s exactly what her website says.

I am Sandra Dirks and I have been a trainer for 20 years, but for 10 years I’ve been even more into blogging, making videos and I’ve been completely crazy about markers and paper and accessories. Or as I would always say: “Marker thingy and stuff!”

Rumor has it that I ended up in this job as a trainer only because of the colorful workshop cards and markers used by the trainers in the apprenticeship trainings. Quite a lot of “training” in this sentence, but that also has a lot to do with me. I became a training manager myself and in 2005 I became self-employed.

“Thies, what connects you to Neuland?”

When I was at the EuViz in 2014, I got – like all participants did – the “Gimme 5″as a gift from Neuland. That’s this great cartridge belt for Neuland markers.

I remembered the bat-belt from a well-known cartoon superhero… And I played around with the idea that all Neuland products are somehow gadgets for superheroes. Only for me and only from nonsense. Until Guido and the Neuland team said: Do it! That will be the catalog!

So what connects me to Neuland?

I’m allowed to get up to nonsense. And altogether we make more out of it.


“Sandra, what connects you to Neuland?”

What a question! I love your products. Especially the markers. Stylish on Instagram, this is summarized by the hashtag #Markeraddict. After all, there’s the right marker for each (presentation) purpose. I love it, if my desk looks like this.


In every handbag I have a small selection and at home they are everywhere. There is always something to write down. If I still remember correctly, then you can even open bottles with the BigOne, right? 😉

In my visualization workshops, there is always an extra long material briefing. After all, it is important that you also use the material correctly. That’s much more fun and you see success very quickly. In the end, all that is missing is that I hand out order forms. Pretty crazy, right?


“What does a social media correspondent do?”

When I read for the first time that I am allowed to support your team as SocialMedia Correspondent, I was just happy as crazy, without knowing what that exactly means.

When reading the word “correspondent” I immediately thought of TV correspondents, who almost fly away with a windstopper microphone by the hand in front of the camera.

I’m not flying away so easily, maybe I’m reporting from a crisis area, so from a seminar room from hell? Something like this:

“The sad eyes of the seminar participants in front of the empty presentation kit speak volumes. It lacks everything! First and foremost the black markers that lead a sad existence here without nibs. Surrounded by blue markers, which are forced to squeak over a flipchart until the last breath of life. It lacks everything! New marker nibs, inks in 100, 101 and 704 are missing. Please send …! “

But then I read on, to get to know what is your idea behind the social media correspondent:

Writing blog posts, making small videos, but also starting livestreams on Facebook or YouTube. Wonderful! This is really awesome, because I enjoy all these tasks very much. I’m really looking forward to it.

Maybe I can report from the EuViz2018 with a windstopper microphone – or in German: a Puschelmikrofon? – I certainly will not fly away. Promised!


“What do you think? Thies?”

I’m a trained graphic designer. I work as an advertising copywriter.

In my free time I draw people on the train or cartoons or landscapes or anything imaginable. And I write short texts or songs or something. With all this I want to tell stories.

And I think that’s exactly what a social media correspondent should do:

Telling stories instead of “posting content”.


“What else would you like to tell us?”


Is that the moment when I can greet someone? Then I greet my wife Kim and my son Paul and everybody who wants to be greeted. Cheers!


Pssst! I already made a few videos on Neuland Basics. That has been so much fun! In the videos I explained how to use the products.

To get a taste of it, please watch this first video. It isn’t a tutorial about using the product, it’s about a decisive factor of the Neuland markers.


Watch here:

Incidentally, I’m really totally sensitive to odors. When I say that something does not smell, so it is. You can believe me. Before I became a trainer, I worked in the perfumery department and later “snooped” in Grasse through all sorts of fragrances. That was great and a lot of fun.

Smelly markers are terrible for me. That’s why I really love non smelly Neuland markers. Well, if it does one day, I would like to have some bergamot in the top note. 😉

By the way, did you know that the markers are not only odorless, they also do not penetrate?

Yes, that’s great. So you can be sure that you really only write on the first flipchart page and don’t ruin the following three.


“Anything else, maybe something personal, Sandra?”

I create all the videos and the blog posts myself in German and English. This is a real challenge because I will not let myself be doubled!

I make a lot of mistakes here, have a strong accent, but I practice every day. Really!


So, let’s get started. We hope it’s OK, if you read more of us here soon!?